We might be tempted to agree with the proponents of Proposition 75 when they say union leaders should have to get the consent of members before putting money toward political campaigns, were it not for the huge obstacle it would place in the path of effective union lobbying.

Unions should represent the best interests of their members, but forcing union leaders to get annual written consent from members for all political contributions only serves as a preventative measure to keep unions from acting effectively to serve the overall interests of the group.

It’s also worth noting that the largest supporters of Prop 75 are California’s big corporations, which also use campaign contributions to gain economic clout during elections. These corporations are, in effect, asking that unions be held to different and more demanding campaign contribution standards, giving big business an advantage in exercising political sway.

Holding unions accountable to their members when endorsing political campaigns is a reasonable objective. Prop 75, however, goes about this in entirely the wrong way. It would force unions to jump through hoops, bogging them down with paperwork and impeding their efforts to effect any political change – even that which would benefit their members.